We've acquired a Netgear WAG302 wireless bridge to connect our LAN with a wireless ISP. There are 3 ISP's within range at various distances and with varying degrees of vegetative obscuration. We need to choose which one of their access points has the best, strongest signal with our high-gain directional parabolic antenna.
We'd like to find some signal indication software that will run on either NetBSD 3.1 or win2000, and using the IP address of the wireless bridge (the default gateway, perhaps?) as the signal source, give us as much information as possible about the strength of each of the 3 signals.
Can anyone suggest some possible solutions, please?
The WAG302 is an access point with WDS features. I can't tell from the online data sheet if it supports a client bridge mode necessary to use it to connect to your ISP. If it doesn't, you may have a problem.
The WAG302 supports SNMP which should yield a signal strength per connection. Use any handy MIB browser such as net-snmp:
There's also a CLI (command line interface) in the WG302 which *MAY* offer a site survey tool, which usually gives signal strength and signal quality numbers. Dunno, because I'm too lazy to RTFM.
My guess(tm) is that you're going to need an external antenna to connect to your various ISP's, especially with vegetarian obstructions. Just connect the antenna to any suitable client card that has an external antenna connector to whatever computer you have handy, and use whatever connection manager comes with the wireless card to extract the signal strengths. If Windoze 2000 or XP, try Netstumbler or Wi-Fi Hopper. For NetBSD, try Kismet.
If you give your wireless devices MAC address to your potential ISP, he should be able to interrogate his access points to get your signal strength and quality.
Also, spend some time with Kismet looking for other clients on the same channel. Interference is a real problem. Netstumbler will not show clients.